Strategies used to teach early reading
The teaching of early reading has been the subject of fierce debate for several decades, and different commentators recommend different strategies. However, current education policy firmly recommends the use of Systematic Synthetic Phonics. At the time of writing (early 2012), relatively few secondary schools may be using systematic phonics teaching as part of their teaching of reading. This is borne out by the 2011 Ofsted Report Removing Barriers to Literacy which states,
'Inspectors saw few instances of systematic phonics teaching in the secondary schools, colleges and other providers of adult education and training, despite the fact that for learners without a grasp of the link between sounds and letters, this knowledge is necessary to develop their literacy' (2011, p.8).
We may surmise from this is that in the near future, more secondary schools will be encouraged to respond to the increased use of systematic phonics teaching in the primary school. Being aware of these developments, and increasing your own knowledge of this process is something that will help you contribute to schools’ work in this area.
‘The Simple View of Reading’, though developed in earlier research, was the approach advocated in The Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading conducted by Jim Rose in 2006. This suggests that reading is a two-fold process, involving DECODING/WORD RECOGNITION as well as LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION. Pupils may have strengths in different areas (particularly in terms of developing or struggling readers) and may fall in different areas of the following quadrant. Understanding this, and therefore being able to appreciate and respond to the needs of individual pupils, is one of the way to help you develop pupils’ abilities to access texts in your subject.